From: "Roy C. Lackey"
Subject: (urth) Musk's dagger? Date: Sun, 27 Oct 2002 01:27:30 -0600 >Crush perseveres: >The guy named "Cat" is anything but irrelevant. The fact that Poppy lied >about knowing him shows that she, like Musk, is a Trivigaunte spy. The word >"civet" is *Arabic* for "perfume". "Civet" is Musk's real name. The fact >that Musk changed it suggests he had something to hide (since the name >*could* be Vironese as well). If the ownership of the knife came to light, >Blood ("a loyal son of Viron") could conceivably have pieced together Musk's >true heritage. Certainly Spider would have. I must be getting senile, because I just re-read the LS series this autumn and completely missed those two "facts". Could you tell me where in the texts they might be found? I wonder why, when Marble was murdering Musk, Silk noted: "The perverse self-forged discipline of the Orilla broke at last; Musk screamed and continued to scream, each pause and gasp followed by a scream weaker and more terrible." LS3:3 Is there an Orilla in Trivigaunte? >Crane *gave* Chenille the knife. But Crane *got* it from Musk. He *said* he >went to Musk for advice, but in fact he took the knife Musk already owned >and had the tail of the "cat" tinted red. Then he gave it to Chenille. >Voila! Crane and Musk "launder" a potentially incriminating piece of >evidence. I guess he *could* have thrown it away, or buried it, or destroyed >it - but I suppose it was nice enough that he couldn't bear to do that. I missed that fact, too. Source? Let me see if I have this straight: Musk, nee Civet, was born and raised in Trivigaunte. He came to Viron as a spy and struck up a homosexual relationship with Blood. He brought with him from Trivigaunte a dagger having the image of an untinted cat with a mouse in its jaws on the handle, said image representing his name. (I must be lacking in imagination; I would never have associated the image of the cat-with-mouse on the handle with the south end of a civet. ) He had been with Blood for at least three years. (LS1:7, last page) After all that time Musk decided that the knife might give him away as a spy, so he and Crane put their heads together and decided that the best way to get rid of it was to tint the cat red and give it to a whore who used rust and worked in Blood's whorehouse. Rust makes people violent and rash, but what the hell, that would be the last they would ever see of it; good riddance. And the fact that tinting the cat red, fire-tipped tail and all, made such a better pictograph of Chenille's name than Musk's was just an amazing stroke of good fortune. The Outsider must have been at work. It was a clever enough piece of work to fool Silk in his Father Brown mode; Silk never suspected. Ah, but wait! Both Silk and Musk agreed that the knife was "nearly new". Does that mean that Musk had the tell-tale knife made for himself *after* he came to Viron? What was he thinking? Let's see now; how many Trivigaunti spies were in Blood's employ? Crane, Musk, Willet (aka Hossaan), Poppy . . . but, wait, let's just count the ones who actually came from Trivigaunte. Crane, Musk, and Hossaan by your count, so far as I can tell. Why do you suppose this exchange took place between Silk and Hossaan, after Crane, Musk and Blood were all dead? "'From your name--Maytera Marble told me that--you're a Trivigaunti. Is that right? Doctor Crane said once that you were his second in command. Most of the spies he employed seem to have been Vironese, but it would be natural for him to have a few from his own city, people he could trust completely.' "'Only me, Calde. You're right though. More of us would have made us a lot more effective.'" (LS4, 51) The spy game was effectively over at that point; Willet had revealed his citizenship, the fact that he was a spy, and had come to tell Silk that the Trivigaunti army was on its way to Viron. There is no question about Crane having been the leader of the Trivigaunti spies; it was his death which triggered the arrival of the airship. There was no reason for Willet to conceal Musk's nativity at that point, had there ever been a reason. -Roy --